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Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Year: 2015
Studio: Paramount
Director: Steve Pink
Writer: Josh Heald
Cast: Rob Corddry, Clark Duke, Craig Robinson, Adam Scott, Chevy Chase

I was talking in the last review I wrote (Let's Be Cops) about people who don't like this 21st century-style comedy (all profanity, pop culture aware and heavy on improv) just not getting what it's all about. Like I've already said, it's not about the story, it's about the punch lines and chemistry more so than in any other kind of comedy.

So on one level I wasn't surprised this sequel did so badly and was so poorly received, but it also made no sense after the first one was a big hit on the back of a similarly ridiculous story, merely delivering the crackerjack chemistry between leads John Cusack, Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry and Clark Duke. What was this one missing to cause people to hate it so much? I laughed out loud and long plenty of times.

Cusack steps aside this time (except for a cameo that – to blow my own trumpet – I called as soon as I saw the first trailer ages ago) and it's up to Lou, Nick and Jacob to save the day when Lou is gunned down at the palatial mansion he owns after the stunning success of his search engine Lougle.

The guys discover Lou has had the hot tub delivered and installed behind a secret door in the mansion, but when they intend to go back to the past to save Lou, they actually travel ten years into the future, greeted by the possibility that the killer is from the future.

Adam Scott as the virginal groom-to-be is irritating most of the time he's around, and the story is even more convoluted and nonsensical than that of the first movie, but the magic is there any time Nick, Lou and Jacob share the screen. Watch for the scene when they see their true selves in the mirror ('You look like Gandalf the Poor', 'You look like Billy Zane's dick'), and no matter how dire the circumstances, Nick and Lou don't hesitate to stop and serenade Jacob about what a nerd he is when he references 'Fringe'.

It's check your brains at the door material – maybe more so than most films from the same school – but if you expected anything more you were always going to be disappointed.

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